Attracting tourists since Victorian times, Folkestone is a charming port town which was an important harbour and shipping port for most of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Today, it is brimming with things to see and do and transport links make it easily accessible.

Folkestone's restored harbour ( is described as the “place to be” and has become a centre for food, drink and entertainment. Originally the railway terminal for the Folkestone to Boulogne Ferry, and departure point for soldiers on their way to the Western Front, it embraces the town’s historic past.

Creativity flows in the Creative Quarter, from pastel-painted artists’ studios and galleries to performance spaces…all sat between quirky stores and eateries.

Great British Life: Stunning Folkestone from the air James Wo @ ViDi airStunning Folkestone from the air James Wo @ ViDi air

With plenty of green spaces, Kingsnorth Gardens is one such oasis waiting to be discovered, there is of course, the stunning coastline, too. Folkestone’s pebbled beach makes for a pleasant walk while Sunny Sands is perfect for swimming and sunbathing when it gets a bit warmer!

Heading to the Leas, the unique mile-long clifftop promenade, there’s excellent views of the Strait of Dover, and even France, on a clear day. Leas Cliff Hall is also a venue for entertainment and special occasions, see this year's line up of events (

It’s a cliché saying there’s something for everyone but Folkestone gets a tick in pretty much every box.

Great British Life: Places to eat include Marleys, The Old High Street, Folkestone (c) Charly MayoPlaces to eat include Marleys, The Old High Street, Folkestone (c) Charly Mayo


Food and drink are celebrated here in abundance with unique cafes, bars and restaurants all waiting to be found.

Don’t be surprised to see queues for brunch outside Marleys Bistro on The Old High Street, ( Run by local young couple, Mark and Charly, they’re known for their breakfasts but also service lunch and dinner and base the menu on locally sourced and homemade comfort food in a cosy atmosphere. With the spring menu now available, it’s always a talking point locally.

As well as being a shop full of beautiful objects for the home and garden where vintage ceramics are mixed with contemporary homewares and fabrics, The Potting Shed’s ( real secret is to be found inside the shed where after acquiring a password, guests are invited to enjoy a classic cocktail in a world of 1920’s speakeasy glamour. Shhhhh! Just don’t tell anyone!

Supplying only the freshest shellfish, Chummys ( in Beach Street has been established since 1958 and there’s everything from lobster, scallops, crabs and much more from this family business.

Tasty menu options and events are all part of the course at The Cliffe Lounge Bar and Kitchen, ( steak nights to happy hour, there's plenty to tempt you.

Great British Life: Moda offers an eclectic mix of home decor and gifts (c) ModaModa offers an eclectic mix of home decor and gifts (c) Moda


The pretty, cobbled Rendezvous Street is the location for many independent shops, one of which is Moda ( an award-winning shop stocking an eclectic mix of home decor, quirky gifts, cards, prints, jewellery and home fragrance. Owners, Amy and John, focus on sourcing and curating their product range which includes unique items not found elsewhere. Handmade and Fairtrade items and products from British designers and brands are available.

In Old High Street, Not For Humans ( is a pet boutique with locally handmade, sustainable, eco-friendly pet accessories and treats but don’t feel left out as there’s lots of handmade products for humans and their homes, too!

The street is also home to Objectables ( a greetings card publisher designing and selling a variety of cards for every occasion, many of which are funny and sure to raise a smile with the recipient. Gifts and games are also available.

Great British Life: Folkestone's Leas Lift (c) James Wo @ ViDi airFolkestone's Leas Lift (c) James Wo @ ViDi air


The iconic Grade II Folkestone Leas Lift, one of only three remaining water balanced lifts in the country, sadly closed in 2016 and was placed on the Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register in 2019. The Folkestone Leas Lift Company Charity, with support from the Architectural Heritage Fund, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and other trusts and charities, hope to bring this iconic Folkestone landmark back to its former Victorian Glory and to open in 2025. They are currently fundraising and need to raise £400,000 by May 2023. The Lift Cafe on site serves wonderful food and drink, with some of the profits going towards the restoration. Find out more and how to support by visiting


AUDLEY ROAD, guide price £895,000

Beautifully presented and believed to have been built in the late 1920’s, this well-maintained home is located in the sought-after West End area and offers four spacious bedrooms, two reception rooms, spacious kitchen/dining room and luxury modern family bathroom/shower room. A garage, plus off-road parking for a number of cars, as well as delightful mature front and back gardens add to the home’s appeal. A few minutes’ walk from Folkestone West train station it’s perfect for commuting and day trips to the city.

CARLTON LEAS, guide price £695,000

Located on the famous Folkestone Leas, a rarely available three/four-bedroom penthouse apartment has breath-taking panoramic sea views across the English Channel towards France and is available with no chain. Arranged over two floors with two/three reception rooms, there is a also a secure underground parking space as well as a space on the rear surface car park, lift and entry phone system. A short stroll away from the vibrant harbour arm and Folkestone’s bustling creative quarter.

Smith Woolley, 01303 226622,

WHERE TO STAY #pic of Citroen van#

We all love to discover quirky places to stay and having mentioned The Potting Shed’s shop and bar, there’s an overnight stay option, too. Located in a private courtyard, a five-minute walk to town, your home for the night is a 1956 Citroen HY Van which has been converted into a double bedroom. With a bathroom and shower located onsite, along with BBQ and small kitchen, this is the ideal stay for the glampers out there. Collect fresh eggs from the hens in the morning and have a relaxingly different stay (

Described as “beautifully boutique”, Wards Hotel ( has been under new ownership since September 2020 and has gone through extensive refurbishment. There’s a collection of well-appointed rooms and the onsite Earls Restaurant caters for every taste.

Accredited in The Michelin Guide since 2016, 10t012 Folkestone ( is a beautiful Victorian house with 12 spacious ensuite rooms and even a pub in the basement! Couples, friends, families and corporate groups are catered for.


Post office: The town has sites located at 57-59 Sandgate Road, 97 Dover Road and also at 113 Sidney Street.

Healthcare: GP surgeries are dotted around the town. The nearest accident and emergency hospital is William Harvey in Ashford. Visit for more health information.

Schools: Primary schools include St Eanswythe’s Church of England Primary School and Seabrook Church of England School, both rated Outstanding by Ofsted. There is also the Folkestone School for Girls which has sustained high levels of attainment and Earlscliffe, which offers day as well as full boarding for students aged between 15 and 19.

Transport: With two stations, Folkestone Central and Folkestone West, journey time to London is just under an hour and operated by Southeastern. Buses are operated by Stagecoach with the bus station in Bouverie Square. Regular services are provided around the town as well as further afield. For those wishing to travel to France, Eurotunnel Le Shuttle provides a link from Folkestone to Calais in around 35 minutes.